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YMCA leaders invest in the future of the YMCA

By Rebecca Morton Doherty, for World Alliance of YMCAs

(21 July 2010, Hong Kong) This morning, 100 YMCA leaders were

presented with a “million dollar investment opportunity”; the

chance to invest in the future of the global YMCA movement and change

the lives of thousands more young people around the world. USD78,550

was pledged on the spot from YMCAs, as well as individual staff,

volunteers and youth.
As part of the 17th World Council of YMCAs, taking place from 19-24th

July in Hong Kong, a group of YMCA leaders from across the world was

invited to participate in an Investor's Circle meeting. Dr Bart

Shaha, Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs, and Johan

Vilhelm Eltwik, General Secretary of YMCA Europe, shared information

on a resource mobilisation process that was initiated in 2008, and

that is already reaping significant rewards. Work has been done at

national, regional and world level to improve the YMCA's capacity

to raise funds. In particular, this has focused on governance,

financial management, communications, programme development and

proposal writing. This work, financed by an initial seed fund of

USD500 000 has already generated over USD1 million.

During the Investors Circle meeting, YMCA area leaders from Africa,

Asia and Pacific, Europe and Latin America presented plans for phase

two (2010-2014), which aims to raise a further USD3 million from

external sources to strengthen YMCAs worldwide and increase their

impact on youth and communities.
Impressed and inspired by the success of phase one of this work, in

less than 15 minutes 34 individuals and 15 YMCAs pledged financial

support to continue work to increase the visibility, social

relevance, and organisational capacity of YMCAs so that they are

better placed to raise, manage and report on funds from external

YMCA England sent a powerful message to other National Movements, by

making the first pledge of USD50 000 to support this process. John

Lilley of YMCA Canada was the first to make a personal commitment to

be an individual donor to this process with USD1 000.

“Phase two is for those who hold a vision for the YMCA that is

without boundaries. It is for those who are inspired by the

collective power and untapped potential of the full YMCA family. It

is for those who are proud to stand for global youth by standing for

the global movement,” said Dr. Bart Shaha.